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No more taxes: Agents warn government on CGT

ARLA Propertymark has issued a warning to government not to use Capital Gains Tax reform to further punish the private rental sector.

Last week a report commissioned by Chancellor Rishi Sunak advocated a doubling of Capital Gains Tax on, amongst other things, profits from the sale of buy to let and holiday homes.

In addition it called for future CGT reforms to link more closely with income tax. 


Although the government has stressed it is concentrating currently on the Coronavirus crisis, not tax reform, there has been no denial that the proposal will be taken on board at a later date.

Now ARLA Propertymark’s policy and campaigns manager - Timothy Douglas - says: “Letting agents and their landlords play a key role in maintaining a strong and thriving private rented sector. To this end, the current system of Capital Gains Tax does not paint the full picture of costs and responsibilities. 

“Given recent changes to mortgage interest relief, the wear and tear allowance, and the ongoing impact of Covid-19, the UK government must tread carefully with any plans to change Capital Gains Tax as this could dramatically reduce the supply of rental properties.”

A number of groups, law firms and individual property professionals have criticised the CGT proposal, suggesting it may lead to a flood of sales by landlords and thus a shortage of letting stock.

You can read more about the report and its proposals here.

  • Roger  Mellie

    When has the government ever listened to the industry? Like never. Those old fossils up at the NFOPP shuffle around trying to look useful and achieving literally nothing.

  • Barry X

    By the way.... rather worryingly I discovered that the people who claim to be "Tories, honest" are not just thinking of "simplifying" CGT by aligning it to our marginal rates of income tax.... that would be more than bad enough, but they're quietly thinking of doing a very nasty thing in addition while at it, so BE WRANED by the following.

    As a terminal cancer patient currently living on borrowed time, one benefit, one "opportunity" as it were, of my pending and anticipated death (but hopefully not for a little longer yet) is that a large CGT liability bomb should be wiped out for a couple of rental properties when my wife inherits them from me. I bought them in my own sole name, one in 1996 the other 1997 before setting up a company (in 1998) and then buying all future properties in the company's name - very sensibly as it turned out, although many advised against it in the early years.

    under existing and very long established rules, when you die, the person (in this case my wife) inheriting the property/properties gets them at the current open market value based on the day of your death. This is called REBASING because the "base cost" of the asset become the value on inheriting it, not what I paid for it over 20 years ago. Therefore there is **no** CGT to pay - the liability for that all "dies" with you - but there could be IHT to pay. There isn't normally for a spouse, but when she dies the children and/or other relatives (or friends if they're lucky!) WILL potentially have a large tax bill including - as I understand it - one carried forward from her temporary "exemption" on inheriting from me.

    What the nasty, greedy , incompetent government are thinking of doing - as one of a number of wheezes to make us pay for all their reckless spending, borrowing and stupid mistakes - is abolishing the "rebasing" principle so your CGT liability is carried forward and becomes part of the inheritance!!!

    [ By the way, and as an aside...... I've long believed that CGT is an immoral and unfair tax on inflation NOT genuine profit or gain in real terms.... think about it.... let's do a little thought experiment.... instead of investing in property you invest in tins of beans with an unlimited shelf-life and that never go out of fashion.... you buy 100,000 of them at the then normal price of 10p each and keep them carefully in a cost-free warehouse for ten years then sell them all at the new normal price, increased only by inflation, of 20p each.... so you sell them for £20,000 and get taxed on a "gain" or profit of £10,000.... EXCEPT you have NOT made a profit because if you want to buy 100,000 tins of beans that's what they now cost and after paying your tax you won't have enough money to even buy what you bought 10 years before then worked so hard to "invest" in and "profit" from!!! ]

    Going back to those properties and my poor wife, or even (as you'll see) my more hard done by nephew(s)..... Imagine the following - if instead of leaving these couple of properties to my wife I decided to leave them, being a generous uncle, to one of by nephews... THEN on inheriting they would have a time limit to pay the IHT (6 months from my death, I think). To pay that very large (and again immoral and unfair) tax bill they'd have to sell.... but then, oops, they'd get double-taxed because suddenly they'd have a 25 year CGT "gain" to pay tax for too, even though they've only owned the houses for a few months and there hasn't been that much inflation to rip them off and tax them for yet!

    Worse still (but this is not the case for my wife and I) suppose there's a mortgage too? That will need to be repaid.... if you do the sums, its perfectly possible to come up with all sorts of scenarios in which my nephew(s) will hate me for the rest of his/their life for leaving them nothing but a huge tax bill to pay and no means by which to pay it. Yes, just a single house could COST them for example £80,000 in tax after IHT + CGT + paying off the mortgage and NOTHING LEFT FOR THEM EXCEPT THAT HORRIBLE BILL.

    "Thank you very much" says Mr Sunak with his annoying fixed 1/2-smile that looks fake to me.

    The best bit of tax planning I can offer you is (a) never sell anything, ever, and (b) live forever - never die! That way there will never be any CGT or IHT to pay and the government can find someone else's money to waste.

    Good Luck.


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